xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Letter: Thankful for the trees this Earth Day in Howard County | READER COMMENTARY

I’m grateful for trees this Earth Day.

I was 6 in 1951 in Madison, Wisconsin. In the summertime I would escape from our apartment to a tree in the park with a low, sturdy bough I could just reach. That was my spot to sit and daydream.

Advertisement

When I was 10, we moved to Wheaton, Illinois. On Arbor Day, I brought home a skinny honey locust sapling from Hawthorne Elementary School. My mom and I planted it in the back corner of our brand-new subdivision lot. My sister, Carla, and I returned a few years ago to see what had become of the small ranch house. It was gone, replaced by a new house that occupied nearly the entire lot. But I knew we were there when I spotted a full, mature honey locust shading the backyard. I felt wonder and pride and satisfaction and thought of my mother.

By 1980, my husband, Jim, and I had married and settled our young family in Columbia. We chose a lot with a woods in front and a former cornfield in back. For the next 40 years, I would open my eyes in the morning to squirrels scurrying around our trees and birds cruising in and out. My favorite tree was the white oak outside our bedroom, the largest tree in our woods.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Last spring that white oak still had its brown autumn leaves. April came and no leaf drop. May came and still no shoots ejecting last year’s leaves. By June, I was very worried. In July, we confronted the death of our stalwart white oak. The arborist from the tree company thought the prolonged drought in 2019 killed it.

I’m sad. I miss the tree I watched grow taller as I grew older. It survived the 2018 Ellicott City flooding but not the drought the next year. I counted the rings on our tree — over a hundred. Our white oak was young in the pandemic of 1918 and died in the pandemic of 2020, the victim of a climate going haywire while a virus turned our lives haywire. Our changing climate may be killing the very trees needed to preserve it. We mustn’t let that happen. So I call and write and lobby.

And I hope a squirrel planted an acorn from our white oak tree in our woods. I watch for it.

Cheryl Arney

Advertisement

Ellicott City

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement